Small companies fight for every opportunity, and make good use of every little bit of support, encouragement, and help. Just giving $25 to a theater company sends them a message that their work matters. And you can bet that a small donation (or a large donation) will be put to immediate use.
As I've been doing over the past few years, I'm going to suggest a few places that I'd love to see get a few of those gifts. (I encourage my fellow bloggers to do the same!) If you're reading this blog, chances are you work in the very world I'm describing. Giving a gift like this is a gift to your own community, a vote of confidence in the continuing health of small theater. For less money than you spend on after-show beer, you can make an easy, online gift to any one of these companies, or all of them, and it will make a world of difference.
Here are a list of incomplete suggestions. I'm sure I'll leave some companies out. This is just to get you thinking. In the end, everyone needs help, and appreciates your support.
-----Blue Coyote Theater Group - my home for the past few years, and a fantastic smaller company that produces the work of many of your favorite playwrights. This past year, they produced my own play, When is a Clock; the presented Happy Endings; and they are currently presenting Philip Taratula's one-man show Call Me Anne. They also presented a reading of my newest play. They work their asses off; I see it every day.
You can give to them online here. I highly encourage you to do so. It's also, if this matters, the closest thing to supporting my own career, directly.
Nosedive Productions - the home of fellow blogger James Comtois. They've had a great year, producing Colorful World, Speed Demons, and Blood Brothers: The Master of Horror. A great team, inventive, and always producing a badass mix of pop culture and theatrical fun.
You can give to them online here.
The Brick Theater - C'mon. It's the BRICK! Give them money, or else.
Folding Chair Classical Theater Company - a company I became aware of this past year. I love their work - pared down, actor focused, ambitious. They did Cymbelline with 6 actors. All of it. If that's not worth a gift from you, I don't know what is.
Here's how to give to them online.
Flux Theatre Ensemble - They've had quite a year, which recently closed out with a repertory production of the full Angel Eater's Trilogy by Johnna Adams. Definitely a company I'll be keeping my eye on, and clearly a crew with their eyes on bigger and better things.
That's just a few. Who else should be getting some extra love this year?